The countdown to Miss United States continues with Miss Colorado United States! Since I was born and raised in Denver, I’m particularly excited about meeting our queen of the Centennial State! 25 year old Shanel Perry was born in San Diego, California, and raised in Colorado. She attended the University of Kentucky as a double athlete, varsity dance team and captain of the equestrian team all while studying Broadcast Journalism. She also has studied at the Colorado Film School for Writing and Directing. After college, Shanel moved back to her beloved state of Colorado where she now works as a National Sales Recruiter and teaches Pure Barre several times a week. Believe it or not, Shanel was a victim of bullying growing up. Shanel not only overcame bullying, but today she is the leader of a women’s empowerment movement and is using her title to support the cause. Read on to learn more about Shanel’s story.
Hometown: Castle Pines, Co
Current City: Denver, Co
Hobbies: Horseback riding, Pure Barre, watching movies, traveling
Favorite food: Mac and Cheese or pizza!
Favorite movie: It’s a tie between Forrest Gump and Top Gun! If Game of Thrones was a movie, it would win this one. It’s my favorite thing on TV ever. J
Three words that sum you up: Loving, Goofy, Spiritual
Song you have on repeat right now: “First” – Lauren Daigle
Dream job: Working on a movie/tv show! (Acting is a secret dream of mine!)
Beauty product you can’t live without: Lash Extensions! I go every 2 weeks!
Favorite quote: “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.” –Jim Carrey
Having a title keep you pretty busy! What is a typical day like for you? Today I woke up at 4:45am and went off to teach 6am Pure Barre. From there I ran home to give my puppy and boyfriend a kiss and then it was off to my full time job where I spend the day interviewing candidates for positions at Richmond American Homes. During lunch I ran errands for Miss United States! Only a few weeks out now! Yay! After work, I went to the gym to work on my fitness! Today was arms and abs. (I can barely walk today since yesterday was leg day. Ouch.) My boyfriend is a professional athlete so you can imagine how intense the workouts are! I’ve definitely through a jump rope at him before. Whoops… After the gym I made myself a healthy dinner and planned my outfit for my appearance for Miss Colorado United States tomorrow at the Defend Freedom Tour. Now it’s time to get some much needed rest to do it all over again tomorrow! Phew!
What has been the highlight of being Miss Colorado so far? I have met SO many new people. That’s one of the main reasons I love pageants so much! And you don’t just meet other people, you meet women who are just as driven and goal oriented as yourself. Every title holder wants to make a difference and that’s what makes it so special. Why wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with these people?!
What are some of your best beauty secrets to looking flawless all the time? Confidence!! Is that a beauty secret? Moisturizer helps too J especially being from Colorado. I walk around everywhere with lotion in hand otherwise I would look like a prune!
Growing up, who was your inspiration? This is going to sound so funny, but Michelle Rodriquez in Fast and the Furious… my brother always had me watching those movies growing up and now they are some of my favorites. She was so confident and independent and kept up with the boys… I grew up in a neighborhood where I was the only girl so being able to stand up for myself and prove that I was strong and fearless was something I had to do on the daily! Whenever they would pick on me I would say to myself, “what would Letty do?” Haha!
Lady Code has a focus on anti-bullying and women empowerment. Do you have any advice for our readers who may be victims of bullying? I’ve been a victim of bullying since I can remember. I was the curly white haired, round glasses, brace face, straggly little girl that apparently everyone saw as an easy target. The name calling was the worst, but there were other times when it got more physical or cleaver… I had a girl intentionally pour a full water bottle all over me when I was wearing white capris. That was brutal for a 6th grader! What I learned through it all was to be the bigger person. If someone is saying something that is hurting your feelings, tell them. If they won’t leave you alone, get yourself out of the situation and tell someone if you need to. The BIGGEST thing you can do is be the bigger person. Be kind to everyone. If you witness bullying, stand up for them. The only way we can put a stop to bullying is to put a stop to it ourselves. Stop the gossiping, stop the name calling, the girl on girl harassment. Women should stand together, not fight against each other. Imagine how powerful we would be if we were all one!
Tell us about your platform: I co-created “Women Empowering Women” with a good friend of mine over a year ago. We have a community page on Facebook with currently over 1,200 followers! Women from all over the world encourage and inspire one another, from sharing articles and videos of strong and inspiring women, to giving advice. Everything that we share is to show that yes, YOU are worthy and YOU are strong. We have plans to make it a nonprofit and are currently scheduling events to bring our online community together in person! As women, we thrive on empowerment, courage, love, success, and the ability to be vulnerable in strengthening the positive aspects in our daily lives. It is wonderful to have a group of women that agree and stand by this.
What can Lady Code readers do in their communities to get involved?
Join us on social to join our online community and too see what we do next!
Private group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/267799023344089/
Public Page: http://www.facebook.com/WomenEmpoweringWomen1
In your free time, what do you enjoy doing? My number one love has always been and will forever be horseback riding. I have been riding since I was just 2 years old! Dancing has also been a huge part of my life since I was very young and I competitively danced and rode all the way through college. After I “retired” from dancing I got hooked on Pure Barre, which is a work out similar to pilates, yoga and ballet all mixed together. I now teach that several times a week! If I’m not doing any of those, I’m probably either at the movies or watching a movie. I have been fascinated with TV/Film since I was in high school and I actually won ‘Female Filmmaker of the Year” my senior year of high school. I also took a year of class at the Colorado Film School where I studied writing and directing and out of college hosted a TV show called Rupp TV for Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.
What is your go-to makeup look? Is it sad that I only wear makeup on the weekends? My face is so sensitive that if I wear foundation and heavy makeup every day, I will just break out everywhere. When I do put makeup on for appearances and events, I go full glam! I LOVE makeup so if I could do it every day, I would. I love a gold and rose gold smoky eye with a bold lip. “Whirl” with “Current” Lip liner from MAC is my favorite. It’s almost purple.
What is one thing you can’t live without? Music and motivational speeches. Those are the 2 things that can get me out of any funky mood I’m in. If I’m tired and need to work out, if I’m upset and need to be at an appearance, if I’m angry and need to calm down, music and motivational speeches can fix everything. I suggest Eric Thomas. My favorite from him is called, “Adele.” YouTube it. You won’t regret it!
What is the hardest part about competing in pageants? Honestly, myself. I think it’s very easy to get into your own head and start to compare yourself to others and start telling yourself that you’re not pretty enough or smart enough and this is when I pray the most. I know God put me in these positions for a reason and I always just ask him to speak through me and let me shine for Him! Once you check yourself, you can really relax and enjoy the rest of the experience!
What is the best part about competing in pageants? There are so many things! I didn’t do my first pageant until I was 23 (I’m 25 now). It was something I always watched on TV and admired… I even dressed up as Miss USA for Halloween a couple times, but I never went after it. Partly because I didn’t know where to start and partly because I didn’t think I had what it took. Boy was I wrong! Pageants are all about learning about yourself and what you are made of. I have never better understood myself then I do now. Not only do you gain confidence, self-esteem, self-improvement, friends,etc… the biggest thing for me is that it made me step back and say “okay, what do I stand for and how do I want to make a difference.”
I have been through a lot at such a young age. Eating disorders, bullying, depression, anxiety, serious health problems, toxic relationships, I couldn’t figure out why God made this life for me. I frequently questioned him saying, “why me, why me.” As I have grown and have been around the right people, I have seen the bigger picture. God gave me this life because I can handle it and I can make a difference. I’ve grown very strong over the years and its now my time to help others. The world of pageantry changed my life when I stepped onto the stage for the first time a year and a half years ago. That’s when it all sort of clicked for me. I saw what titleholders could do. The impact they have on others. I wanted to be that woman. I want to raise awareness about anxiety and depression, put a stop to girl on girl bullying, be a spokesperson for eating disorders, be an advocate for suicide prevention and so much more and you know what the best part is?! I can do it all as a titleholder.
What is the best advice you have ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received was actually something to help me handle my anxiety. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety when I was in college. Someone once told me that when I am experiencing a panic attack or having anxiety about something that happened, to look at the big picture and say to myself, “will this matter in 5 years.” 99% of the time the answer is NO! It somehow helps me calm down a bit.
Keep up with Shanel:
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/misscoloradous